Drilling contractor Quippo doubles its rig fleet to four

Vol 12, PW 2 (12 Jun 08) Exploration & Production

Little known Indian onland drilling contractor Quippo Oil and Gas will soon double its fleet of rigs from two to four.

“We already have two rigs in India and expect two more to arrive by September,â€‌ Sandeep Bedi, president of Quippo’s oil and gas division, tells PETROWATCH. One 1000-hp capacity rig is under construction at the Calgary yard of Stewart and Stevenson; the other, a 2000-hp rig, is under construction by LeTourneau in the US.

Quippo is spending close to $15m for each rig, but is yet to sign drilling contracts. According to Bedi, that shouldn’t be a problem.

“We are talking to private operators,â€‌ he says, without disclosing names. Quippo is also planning to build another four onland rigs, taking the company’s total strength to eight.

“We have offers from yards in the US and China,â€‌ adds Bedi. “But we will place orders only after we receive the two we are building now.

â€‌ Two of the additional four rigs will be 1000-hp, one will be 1500-hp and the fourth will be 2600-hp. “These additional four rigs are for the overseas market,â€‌ says Bedi.

“They will not come to India.â€‌ In January this year Quippo signed a six-month contract with ONGC for a 750-hp rig.

This rig has so far drilled 11 core holes for ONGC at CBM block BS (3)-CBM-2003/II at Tharad close to the Rajasthan border. Bedi says ONGC believes the Quippo rig is â€کlucky’ following several finds and that it might extend the contract beyond six months.

Quippo’s second (1300-hp) rig is drilling core holes for Reliance Industries at its CBM-II blocks: BS (1)-CBM-2003/II and BS (2)-CBM-2003/II in the Barmer-Sanchor area of Rajasthan. Reliance has hired the rig for six â€کfirm’, plus â€کfive’ optional wells.

“We have already drilled three core holes,â€‌ says Bedi. Quippo began its onland drilling business in June 2005 with a contract from Cairn Energy.

Soon after, it decided to hive off its drilling business into a separate company called Quippo Oil and Gas, which began operations on April 1, 2006.